The 2021 round of Volunteer Fire Assistance Grants to aid rural areas, or communities with populations under 10,000 people are now open.   The program helps to organize, train and equip local forces to prevent, control and suppress fires which livestock, wildlife, crops, woodlands, and farmsteads.  The key objectives are to save lives and protect property in unprotected or inadequately protected rural areas. The maximum grant for 2021 is $10,000.  Grant application deadline is Thursday, May 13th.  To learn more, click here.

Pennsylvanians are experiencing hunger at the highest levels since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences, more than 12% of Pennsylvania households were experiencing hunger at the end of 2020.  The report confirms the role that community resources, such as food pantries and free school lunches, are playing in the state.  The report also shows that food insufficiency in Pennsylvania is closely linked to the state’s unemployment rate.  The report is part of an ongoing series focusing on the coronavirus pandemic in the context of direct farm sales, the fruit and vegetable industry, and consumer spending.

United Way of Pennsylvania (UWP) will host an event to launch a new statewide coalition, “Resilient PA: Growing and Flourishing Together,” today (Tuesday, March 16th) at 10:00 am via zoom. The coalition strives to foster resilient Pennsylvania youth, families, and communities by promoting trauma-informed care, and advocating for resiliency-building policies and funding.  Learn more at the United Way of Pennsylvania websiteTo join meeting, click here.